Firms are offering clients full-scale business advisory services that allow them to switch to more efficient business processes. As a trusted advisor to clients, practitioners also need to lead by example by operating at peak efficiency in their own practices. Process improvement will help create the infrastructure necessary for the firm’s long-term success. Let’s see how to fat off your workflow.
Standardizing, documenting, and communicating processes helps eliminate inconsistency and redundancy throughout the firm. This leads directly to results and clients really care about that.
The role of the firm managers and partners is to take a step back and look at the bigger picture, studying entire processes to ensure completeness and efficiency. To get an accurate view, such processes must be documented. Obviously, with hundreds of processes in the firm, no one has the time to document all of them at the same time. However, you can slowly chip away, using a phased approach. The key is to start by focusing on the most critical processes, those that will also provide the biggest payoffs.
Pick one major process and set your focus keenly on that workflow. For instance, in tax preparation, there is a continuous flow of information coming your way. Stop and think if the information is sufficient, and properly collected. You start the work and then have to stop when you uncover incomplete or incorrect data. Additional time is needed every time you pick something back up after a break, increasing inefficiency, as well as time spent on the job. The same goes for conducting reviews too. Pause to check how many returns are sitting to be reviewed in your firm, and for how long. By ensuring that each tax return is completed to the same specifications for review and that everyone is handling review notes in the same way, you can get your returns completed faster.
By focusing on consistency, accountability and controls, the quality of the work produced is improved dramatically. Used together, firms can create better processes and people who provide more value to your clients. A disciplined adherence to processes can help your firm get to the root cause of these issues. It can also assist you in building tools, resources and controls that lead to more efficient and effective processes. Trim the fat and you will be more profitable, too.
For more on effective bookkeeping & tax preparation services, get in touch with the professionals at GKM today!